The Brief

The British Heart Foundation is the UK’s foremost cardiovascular research charity, with the largest chain of high street shops of any UK-based charity. Its core work focuses on funding medical research into heart and circulatory diseases, improving awareness of these issues, and shaping public policy.

In 2016 we analyzed the BHF’s workplace to help the organization’s leadership team determine a long-term strategy towards the adoption of a hybrid working model. This was to be supported by a change management program, people manager training and a workplace portfolio redesign.

Like many other organizations, the pandemic forced the BHF’s employees to suddenly work remotely. As part of the transformation process, we supported the design of the workplace in the BHF’s headquarters and optimized it for a post-Covid world of hybrid working. This has reduced the size of the charity’s headquarters to 47% of the total required by the organization in 2016.

Our approach

We worked closely with the BHF’s internal specialists to develop a bespoke #FlexiblyConnected framework. This gave each individual team within the organization a structure in which to articulate, negotiate and manage their hybrid working expectations. We then worked with change management champions to support the rest of the organization in deploying the framework effectively.

We conducted an organization-wide profiler survey to better understand how the charity’s employees were responding to remote working. We identified workstyles, challenges, opportunities, their appetite for change and their expectations for the future. By utilizing our dynamic space modelling tool we identified the demand and supply of a range of workplace settings to support the BHF’s workforce within the agreed hybrid framework.

In 2019, our Smarter Working program saw the BHF receive an HR Excellence award for the best ‘People-focused Workplace Design’. We are now working with the BHF to design workplaces which meet the needs of the #FlexiblyConnected model in the organization’s other regional offices.